Duluth City Council revisits median project

DULUTH -- The Buford Highway Median Project is something that seems to never go away for the Duluth City Council.

Monday's work session was no different as the city staff made a new presentation for the possibility of development.

The proposed median will be between Ga. Highway 120 and Davenport Road. Within that stretch, there is a proposal for two breaks, including one at Box Road, to prevent drivers from having to go to one end or the other to make U-turns to get to their destination.

Part of the new proposal includes building a road behind the parcels next to the railroad tracks to interconnect all the businesses.

"There will be a small investment there, but it's already paved and is used for parking right now," said Melissa Muscato, planning department engineer.

However, Mayor Nancy Harris and other council members said that building a road behind those parcels might not be the best thing.

"I don't feel comfortable having people drive back there," Harris said.

From how many breaks in the medians to interconnection between the businesses, the city planning department has looked into it all.

"We can go back to one break as was the original plan," Muscato said.

Council member Billy Jones said the council needs to make a decision on this issue.

"With no alternatives, our choice is to go with no medians or go with the current plan," he said. "We've discussed this issue extensively."

After almost an hour of discussion, the council moved on from the discussion.

"I don't know," Harris said. "I guess we're still undecided on this issue."

Other items discussed include:

• The Parks and Recreation Department presented the council with a plan on usage of SPLOST funds to improve area parks. Included in the proposal were new playgrounds and W.P. Jones Park and Bunton Road Park. New, uniformed signage was also included for all parks.

• The city staff asked the council to approve an amendment to the alcohol ordinance that will allow the staff to take over background checks for alcohol handling permits. The city staff takes the application and faxes it over to the police department and then have to wait for them to find time to do the check. "It will make things a lot easier," city clerk Teresa Lynn said.